Monday, March 23, 2015

Niels Harrit in Court

The Truthers are all excited over Niels Harrit suing a Danish journalist for libel. By their accounts it is going, swimmingly.


Harrit referred to the historical court case against Galileo Galilei in 1633, where the accused was brought in front of the inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church and tortured until he renounced his belief that the earth rotated around the sun and acknowledged that the earth was the center of the universe.
When he concluded his procedure, there was no doubt that Dr. Harrit had made an impact upon the High Court. The three judges looked as if they approved the legal points he made, and both Villemoes and his lawyer appeared a bit shaken.
Who knows who will actually win, European libel laws are decidedly less liberal than in the US, but perhaps Harrit should note that unlike Galileo, he is not the defendant, he is the one doing the suing. Regardless a Danish skeptic had a rather less favorable report of the trial.
Harrit pointed to a Danish law against libel, §2672, and Article 10 in the European Human Rights Convention3 (on freedom of expression). He admitted to not being an expert on law, but made the argument that Villemoes had to produce evidence that he, Harrit, was a crackpot. Harrit proved himself right, when it came to him not having expertise in law:
Despite the judges being very lenient with him, he had to be schooled by the head judge on not to make his closing argument during his questioning of the witnesses. Later, she had to tell him not to badger the defendant, Søren Villemoes, while the latter was on the stand, being questioned by Harrit. Harrit would not be allowed to ask insinuating questions. 
Among other things, Harrit claimed that there had been no judicial or police investigation of the terror attacks. He did not mention the trial of Zacharias Moussaoui who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the attacks, a trial that Harrit is fully aware of

17 Comments:

At 24 March, 2015 00:36, Blogger snug.bug said...

It's interesting, James, that your strongest criticism of Dr. Harrit is that he is not skilled in the ways of law. Since that could be said about 99% of professional scientists, that's not saying much.

The claim of a "gotcha" about the Moussaoui trial appears weak to me--in the Hanji account it seems pretty clear that at the time Dr. Harrit claimed "there has never been any a legal investigation of 9/11 in court" the context was limited to WTC7. Mr. Moussaoui's trial had nothing to do with WTC7.

There were a couple of lawsuits involving WTC7 and Con Ed and the Port Authority, but as far as I know these were thrown out of court before trial. One of these suits resulted in rejection of Con Ed claims that the WTC7 structure was faulty. Of course since NIST claims that shear studs were left off the A2001 girder and that there were no stiffener plates on that girder, perhaps Con Ed should revisit that claim.

 
At 24 March, 2015 04:01, Blogger Oystein said...

"...Harrit ... is not skilled in the ways of law. Since that could be said about 99% of professional scientists, that's not saying much."
But Harrit made the foolish decision not to hire and bring an attorney. Instead, he tried to play Perry Mason. I'd say he set himself up to fail, and that is either willful abuse of the court and the defendant (playing games), or further proof that he is a crackpot.

"there has never been any a legal investigation of 9/11 in court, the context was limited to WTC7"
But that is wrong, too: There was a court litigation where ConEdison and their insurers sued Silverstein, the construction company and the structural engineering firm over the collapse of WTC7. The judges were presented with sworn affidavits by several professors and professional engineers in the field of structural and fire protection engineering and concluded that fires brought down the building.

 
At 24 March, 2015 07:09, Blogger snug.bug said...

I guess you didn't read my post. I talked about the WTC7 Con Ed litigation. It was thrown out of court. The conclusion was that there was insufficient evidence that the building was defective.

 
At 24 March, 2015 14:02, Blogger Grandmastershek said...

As the video played the 6.5-second collapse of the 600-foot, 47-story building over and over, the professor described what was happening, and in so doing showed himself to be a logical scientist who naturally had questions about a phenomenon that was identical in appearance to a controlled demolition.

And to anyone familiar with the tactics of the TM knows he proved himself a liar by omitting over 1/2 the collapse, and no doubt the sound as well b/c as we all know, as truthers do as deep down inside, the fact that not a single detonation can be heard anywhere during the collapses of any of the WTC building proves what a farce their beliefs are.

 
At 26 March, 2015 17:40, Blogger truth hurts said...

at the time Dr. Harrit claimed "there has never been any a legal investigation of 9/11 in court" the context was limited to WTC7

Nope.
If the context was limited to wtc7, he should mention that, in stead of mentioning 911 as a whole.

Dr. Harrit is that he is not skilled in the ways of law. Since that could be said about 99% of professional scientists, that's not saying much

It actually says quite a lot about him.
99% of the professional scientists would hire someone who is skilled in ways of law.

 
At 27 March, 2015 03:40, Blogger Kenny Nickelman said...

Niels Harrit lost. Again.

Danish source: http://www.domstol.dk/oestrelandsret/nyheder/domsresumeer/Pages/Udtalelseransetforenmeningstilkendegivelse,derikkevarstrafbarefterstraffelovens%C2%A7267.aspx

 
At 27 March, 2015 08:37, Blogger snug.bug said...

th, when we're talking about ice cream, there is no need to specify that our remarks do not apply to rutabegas.

Presumably Dr. Harrit represented himself because he was very confident of his position. Few lawyers are very conversant in science.

 
At 27 March, 2015 09:48, Blogger James B. said...

Harrit isn't very conversant in much of anything either. Given he lost twice, his confidence was badly misplaced.

 
At 27 March, 2015 13:57, Blogger Grandmastershek said...

th, when we're talking about ice cream, there is no need to specify that our remarks do not apply to rutabegas.

Logic fail. While Harrit's arguments focused largely on WTC 7, b/c that's what truthers do since the rest of their beliefs are preposterous on the face of it, he was very general with regard to the investigations of 9/11.

Presumably Dr. Harrit represented himself because he was very confident of his position. Few lawyers are very conversant in science.

His confidence is misplaced. He was in a court of law, and his position is not validated in any reputable scientific venue.

But your probably right in one way. He probably thought he could dazzle the justices with BS.

 
At 27 March, 2015 13:57, Blogger Grandmastershek said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 27 March, 2015 15:05, Blogger steve_s said...

As one of the commenters notes, The High Court reaffirmed the Lower court verdict: the Danish journalist was affirmed not guilty of defamation when he called the truthers like Harrit or 'fools'. The verdict was published on 27 March, available in Danish here http://www.domstol.dk/oestrelandsret/nyheder/domsresumeer/Pages/Udtalelseransetforenmeningstilkendegivelse,derikkevarstrafbarefterstraffelovens%C2%A7267.aspx. I live in Denmark and can translate it, but basically, the court's decision explains that Villemoes has not broken Danish law or the European Human Rights Convention by referring the truthers as fools,in line with creationists and holocaust deniers. Since truthers need something to live for, Harrit and his crew will probably look for some way to keep the case alive. But Denmark, with its own deadly terror attack in fresh memory, is not interested in Harrit's hurt ego, nor his conspiracy theory.

 
At 27 March, 2015 16:31, Blogger truth hurts said...

th, when we're talking about ice cream,

we are not talking about ice cream and i doubt that we ever will, Brian.
So your whole argument is m00t.


Presumably

Speculation


Dr. Harrit represented himself because he was very confident of his position. Few lawyers are very conversant in science.


This isn't about science, Brian.

 
At 28 March, 2015 08:19, Blogger Ian said...

Presumably Dr. Harrit represented himself because he was very confident of his position.

Yes, most truthers seem to be extremely confident in the idiocy they believe in. Look at you. You're too stupid and mentally ill to live on your own and hold down a job, but you babble on supremely confident in magic spray-on thermite and invisible silent explosives.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world laughs at Harrit and you.

 
At 28 March, 2015 17:01, Blogger Stewie Griffin said...

Wow Harrit never understands anything. He's wrong and in the Danish court of law he's been deemed an idiot.

 
At 30 March, 2015 11:02, Blogger snug.bug said...

GMS, what is preposterous about the belief that 91% of the widoes' questions were not answered by the 9/11 Commission?

What's preposterous about the belief that the 28 pages should be released from the joint congressional inquiry?

What's preposterous about the belief that a report that purports to explain the towers' collapses is inadequate when it does not include analyses of the collapses and explanations for the ten essential mysteries of Ground Zero that are associated with those collapses?

What's preposterous about the proposition that the truth about 9/11 is that we don't know the truth about 9/11?

 
At 30 March, 2015 16:14, Blogger truth hurts said...

Your abuse of those subjects is preposterous, Brian.
That is the whole point

 
At 30 March, 2015 17:06, Blogger Ian said...

GMS, what is preposterous about the belief that 91% of the widoes' questions were not answered by the 9/11 Commission?

Nobody cares about your "widows".

What's preposterous about the belief that the 28 pages should be released from the joint congressional inquiry?

Nobody cares about this either.

What's preposterous about the belief that a report that purports to explain the towers' collapses is inadequate when it does not include analyses of the collapses and explanations for the ten essential mysteries of Ground Zero that are associated with those collapses?

Nobody cares that you're too stupid and mentally ill to understand the report. You're also too stupid and mentally ill to understand how a mop works, which is why you're unemployed, live with your parents, and can't afford a decent haircut.

What's preposterous about the proposition that the truth about 9/11 is that we don't know the truth about 9/11?

We do understand the truth about 9/11. Your hysterical squealing about it doesn't change anything. It just gives us the opportunity to mock and humiliate you.

 

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